Vester Lee Flanagan II, also known as Bryce Williams
WGN-TV screenshot

Updated Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, 2:35 p.m. EDT: Vester Lee Flanagan II, 41, the suspect in the fatal shooting of two journalists on the air in Virginia, was arrested in critical condition after reportedly shooting himself. He has died from those wounds, according to Yahoo News.

The news station notes that around 11:30 a.m., a Virginia State Police trooper spotted Flanagan's car on Interstate 66.
"He refused to stop and sped away from the trooper. Minutes later, the suspect vehicle ran off the road and crashed," the state police said in a statement. "The troopers approached the vehicle and found the male driver suffering from a gunshot wound."


Flanagan was pronounced dead at the hospital at 1:26 p.m., according to state police, Yahoo News reports.


Vester Lee Flanagan II, 41, has been identified as the suspect in the fatal shooting that left a Virginia reporter and cameraman dead and a member of the local Chamber of Commerce wounded. According to Virginia State Police, Flanagan, who also went by the name Bryce Williams, reportedly shot himself on a highway not far from where the shooting took place. It is unclear whether Flanagan's self-inflicted gunshot was fatal, Express UK reports.


Early Wednesday morning, news anchor Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, both of whom worked for Virginia-based news station WDBJ7, were interviewing Vicki Gardner for a live broadcast when gunshots rang out. The camera fell to the ground and chilling screams could be heard.

Shortly after the shooting, tweets from a Twitter account under the name "Bryce Williams" posted graphic video of the shooting. The video shows the shooter walking down a plank where Parker and Ward are interviewing Gardner. The footage shows the shooter pointing a gun at Parker's back, and it appears that the shooter adjusts the camera he is holding before he begins firing. Parker can be seen flinching before the shooter's camera cuts off.


The Twitter account has now been suspended, two journalists are dead, and what is left are the scattered pieces of an incomplete puzzle, with unanswered questions about what prompted the shooting and the man believed to be the shooter.

According to the Bryce Williams Twitter account, there appears to have been a disagreement between Flanagan and his co-workers.


Tweets claim that Ward reported Flanagan to human resources after only working together once and that "Alison made racist comments."

The tweets also encouraged visitors to his Twitter page to go to Facebook to see full video of the shooting.


According to BuzzFeed, Flanagan was hired by WDBJ7 as a multimedia journalist in 2012 and was fired in 2013.

"Vester was an unhappy man. We employed him as a reporter and he had some talent in that respect and some experience," a general manager at the news station said in an on-air interview. "He quickly gathered a reputation of someone who was difficult to work with. He was sort of looking out to people to say things he could take offense to. Eventually, after many incidents of his anger, we dismissed him. He did not take that well. We had to call police to escort him from the building."


According to reports, this wasn't Flanagan's first run-in with employees at a news station. In 2000, while working at WTWC-TV in Tallahassee, Fla., Flanagan filed a lawsuit alleging that "he and another black employee were referred to as 'monkeys' and that a supervisor once told him that 'blacks are lazy and do not take advantage of free money' for scholarships and economic opportunities," the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

"The lawsuit was settled in Jan. 2001 under unspecified terms," BuzzFeed reports.

Earlier tweets from the Bryce Williams account claim that he was a nonpracticing Jehovah's Witness.


Grapevine Editor Yesha Callahan contributed to this report.